#6: Sensory immersion

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

This is one post in a series, describing challenges we need to overcome to make free software ubiquitous on the desktop.

Joi Ito is one of the folks I’ve enjoyed meeting most in recent times, though we’ve not spent much time together I’ve learned a ton every time – I hope I can return the favour some day! It was Joi who first described the World of Warcraft scene to me. I was impressed with the scale of it all. But what really intrigued me was Joi’s description of how he’s wiring up a room in his house to be a sort of portal into that other virtual world. Sound, perhaps other sensory indicators, will give anyone in that room a feeling of being immersed in WoW.

Second Life of course brings a new twist to the idea of immersion, though for now it’s immersion on the virtual side of the looking glass. What interests me are the ways in which there is cross-over between the virtual world and the real world. When I’m walking around town, does my mobile phone alert me to changes in the virtual world? And when I’m working at my PC, how much can I stay focused on work, say, while my PC also keeps me abreast of what’s going on with my avatar?

I think there’s going to be a need for innovation around the ways we blur the lines between real and virtual worlds, and this is again one of those places that I think the free software community could steal a lead on the proprietary world. Think of the “presence” framework being extended to know not only about the real world, who’s where doing what, but also about these virtual worlds, in which we might each be engaged in any number of different activities. Turning all of that into a nice seamless experience is the challenge.

54 Responses to “#6: Sensory immersion”

  1. Mel Says:

    You might want to check out Charles Stross’s forthcoming book _Halting State_ when it’s published (next September in the US according to his site) — it also deals with the collision between virtual worlds and the real world. Some of the stuff he’s been thinking about in relation to it would probably interest you…

  2. Wouter Schut Says:

    At school (7 years ago) I wrote about ‘digital reflection’. Where real people and objects have digital counterparts of themselves. The idea was so good that I got a B- even when I handed in just half of the article :P. It was about community’s and miniaturization (RFID). Digital object which interact which each other.

  3. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Linux is by no means out of the picture.

    Second life already runs GNU/Linux and it has a Linux client (alpha IIRC).

    Why We Need an Open Source Second Life

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, is very open-source friendly.
    | Its computing infrastructure is based on thousands of servers running
    | GNU/Linux, Apache, Squid and MySQL.

    As for WoW, it can now run under the Free Wine; no need for Codega either.

  4. Pseudonymous Coward Says:

    I have felt the same way for some time now and I completely agree with you. I’m glad a person of your stature has publicly stated this very important message.

  5. Steve Says:

    You sir, are an idiot.

  6. Cartoons Fans Lounge » Blog Archive » X Men cake ideas Mark Shuttleworth calls for an Open Source Second Life Says:

    […] X Men cake ideas "I think there ’s going to be a need for innovation around the ways we blur the lines between real and virtual worlds, and this is again one of those places that I think the free software community cold steal a lead on the proprietary world." rx8 from X Menread more | digg story […]

  7. Erik Hjortsberg Says:

    We at the Worldforge project aim to provide open source tools for virtual worlds. The aim is not to make a new WoW, but to create solid technologies that can then be used by world designers when creating new worlds.

  8. Alvis Brigis Says:

    IMO it is only a matter of time until Second Life, the ultimate ICT that allows for the cross-integration of most other existing Interactive Comm Technologies, opens up its code and becomes the Mosaic of our time. It is really just a matter of how far Linden Lab can get on their own, and how they can best solve their Monetize:Democratize ratio connondrum. SL is diffusing at a very fast rate. That will continue because it of mutual interest for LL and the Real World. 2007 will reveal what strategy LL chooses to emply to grow the fastest, maintain its values in SL, and to walk away with the biggest pile of cash or social credits. It is a story that will define the widespread early diffusion of functional micropayment based virtual economies. It should be fun to witness this high-stakes decsion making, the ethical dilemmas, the wide variety of corporate mergers that could help resolve the stress, the evolving government role in VW economies, the evolutionary pressure that the people will place on the code.

  9. khannea suntzu Says:

    I have had many discussions with old-timers inside Second Life on this topic. We have extensive ideas and charted al permutations of these ideas. My asociate, Jeroen de Groot, also an avid advocator of an open source virtuality software package, wants to see a protocol just as transparant as HTML or PHP for the creation of reliable, easy to navigate (way better than SL!) and effective virtual environments. So far SL is the only kid on the block opening op a window to the future, and it’s a ramshackle, chaotic attempt.

    We speculated on virtual environments with a property system guaranteed where you register it; you knicknacks would be yours in the appropriate net of registration; my jeans make me money in the Linden net (as an example) but once I take em out to the russian or taiwanese grid my property rights are not guaranteed; Linden Labs guarantees grid compatibility with this or that pose ball but the vatican subnet censors its use and property.

    We advocate such domain formation, where each user, company or group can manage, own and exploit a virtual space, establish its own rules and receive guests. This is without any doubt the future.

    What does worry us is the tendency of especially rightwing US political elements to try and censor, control, restrict, tax and/or exploit such new developments. Under the US hammer (and sickle) is (still) network neutrality. I am sure the pentagon isn’t too happy with a free and universally accessible virtual reality; internet is enough of a headache for them already. The rest of the world must be viciously assertive in making absolutely sure the hawks and xenophobes and reactionaries and fundamentalists, whether from the US or mainland China or Saudi Arabia – have absolutely NO influence on the formation of such new mindscapes.

  10. Ryan Scullen Says:

    Roy, I think what Mark was getting at was not the fact that the programs that emerse people into virtual worlds need to be made available for use by the open source community (Linux / GNU users, etc), but rather that a virtual world be created that is GNU / open source, so that the interactions between the virtual world and the real world could be built and developed by the open source community, rather than a single company looking to solely acquire capital gain from the venture.

  11. Todd Adams Says:

    According to Linden Lab’s VP of Product Development Cory Ondrejka in Jan, 2006, Second Life is moving toward opening the entire system…

    First in line for opening up, according to Ondrejka, is the Second Life instant-messaging system, which will apparently be remade with Jabber compatibility “pretty soon,” allowing end-users to create their own messaging software able to bridge the gap between Second Life and the rest of the internet. Ondrejka sees a time when end-users will create their own interfaces to Linden Lab’s virtual world. “Why presume that we’ll ever be a large enough company to satisfy [all users’] needs,” said Ondrejka. “The more we use open standards, the more predictive people can be about where we’re going…In the long run, I want you to be able to host a server.”


    I have read a number of times that the SL server will be included with Linux much as Apache or Sendmail is today and every server can host virtual worlds like webpages…..

  12. Rodger Ballard Says:

    I would rather see a really high end MMO engine constructed in an open source manner. While there are OSS MMO engines, try and compare these to the quality of a commercial engine such as http://www.bigworldtech.com/ or any of the commercial gaming engines used by things such as WoW.

    I believe OSS guys could really bring some amazing pace and innovation to this field if it was seriously lead.

  13. Robert Gertz Says:

    running an open source Secondlife would reward us with a vast network of coomunication and interaction….provided that these open source servers are always running, don’t require extensive maintence by a trained software team, and are all completely compatable and linked with each other. Eventually, you would just get a series of elitist open source worlds linked together, and the idea behind Secondlife’s goal would be meaningless, lost.

  14. Chris Pietschmann Says:

    I have a bit of a lengthy comment to this post on my blog: http://pietschsoft.com/Blog/Post.aspx?PostID=1343

  15. Robert Accettura Says:

    An open source equivalent would be difficult. The client side is easy. it’s the server side. Who would host? Most likely would end up being “distributed” or more trendy “P2P”, but in that case, the latency would be to much to make it worthwhile. Can you imagine the lag of such a system? Something like this needs to be centralized. But who would host?

  16. Adam Says:

    What about Planeshift? (http://www.planeshift.it/)

  17. Joshua Gay Says:

    You may want to look into the work of Pete Amstutz, http://interreality.org/ his virtual object system is pretty cool. It’s a hobby project of his, but, I think it lays the groundwork for a free software second life.

  18. Adam Ross Says:

    True, there is a Second Life Linux client and World of Warcraft is capable of running on a Linux platform, but neither of these are truly open source. Don’t confuse open source with “free” or “runs on Linux”. Open source means that anyone can edit the code and make modifications without fear of legal retaliation. Now translate that into a MMO-environment, rather than a MMORPG. If it became popular and was implemented correctly, the ramifications could be fantastic.

    Anyone who has read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson will know what the Metaverse is. For those who don’t, it’s an online environment much like Second Life, only it was created and largely maintained by hackers, free of charge. I think and open source MMOE is more Metaverse and less Second Life. Open source means making something the best is possibly can be by collaboration and open-ended development.

  19. kh Says:

    You might check out this article at LWN on the Free Ryzom Campaign.

  20. greenknight Says:

    Perhaps it is a good thing the distinction between reality and virtual are not connected. If it were not so, it would be that much easier to lose one’s grounding.

  21. Fry3001 Says:

    There is a second life client for linux, yes. The whole thing lacks (as usual) the right display drivers. Try to run that client on an ati graphics card, and you know what i mean.

    But imo theres more to do. It would be great to have a complete open source world, a free mmo(r)pg where everyone can make its part of it (in some given boundaries). I experienced that it works fine in a classic roleplaying game in a wiki, where everyone is able to extend the world. *That* in a virtual world would be a real open source second life.

  22. Frenchy Says:

    There is also Ryzom which is a commercial MMORPG with a GPL engine it seems.

    Due to the liquidation of Nevrax (who made the game) the ‘Open Source community’ try to buy the full sources to hopefully reproduce what happened to Blender (but here in the MMORPG world):

    (this website indicates 135 000 € of pledges for now)

  23. Burke Prefect Says:

    I love the idea of an open-source SecondLife.
    However, I think the best solution would be to think-through a new, completely from scratch protocol and engine based on what we’ve learned from SL regarding intellectual property, DRM (necessary for any kind of economy model), database storage, physics, i/o, everything.

    SecondLife is becoming the AOL of metaverses. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.
    Good because it helps bring virtual worlds into the mainstream, bad because at present they can’t handle having more than 2% of their userbase online at once.

    If you want something open-source, something whole, pure, and usable, we’ll need to get everyone to cooperate and think things through. I believe the programming and enthusiast communities can do that. I only hope they’ll be compatible with eachother. 😀

    My L$2,
    Burke Prefect, 2 year veteran of SL.

  24. Runar Says:

    > Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, is very open-source friendly.

    Yeah, Microsoft is also open-source friendly.

    I’d say friendly is when you donate time and/or resources to give something back to the community. Merely using Free Software doesn’t make you a contributor of any kind.

    Show me the code.

  25. Matt Says:

    I fully agree, and I e-mailed you just now — hopefully your spam filter won’t kill it! :) It’s about my MMORPG server design, and I’ll list the highlights here too:


    – Crash protection with reversion to previous known good code
    – Embedding Python to handle Version Control (SVN) and utility tasks
    – Clustering
    – Entire memory-space snapshotting (fast), cluster-wide
    – Transactional updates which double as mirroring diffs
    – Continuous memory mirror (main shared segment to backup segment)
    – Over-the-network mirror
    – Over-the-network hot spares with fast rebuild
    – Prepared locks using cmpxchg instead of atomic_dec_and_test
    – Fragmentation avoidance via heap compaction and rearranging
    – Fine-grained multithreading to take advantage of 4+ CPUs
    – Data recording, allowing post-snapshot replays on dev cluster
    – I/O *is* transactional with the cooperation of the client

  26. Jim Peters Says:

    OpenCroquet SDK (http://www.opencroquet.org/) is the best candidate for building such a place.

  27. David Galiel Says:

    My nonprofit game studio, Public Interest Entertainment Corporation, was created precisely to do what Mark proposes here – create Open Source tools, technologies and platform/s for socially-constructive virtual worlds, ala “Open Source Second Life”, as well as collaborative tools and technologies that can be used in conjunction with or independently of these virtual worlds.

    Our mission is to use these powerfully immersive entertainment technologies as experiential learning environments for civic society.

    PIECORP is structured as a nonprofit to allow an exclusive focus on making a difference rather than making a buck. *Everything* we invent, create, develop, write, etc., will be released as Open Source/Creative Commons/Public Domain as appropriate for the particular content and medium.

    Moreover, PIECORP is intended to promote an alternative business model to both the traditional commercial entity and the traditional nonprofit that depends upon capitalist largesse. PIECORP’s virtual worlds and collaborative products are designed to be economically self-sustaining, and, in most cases, to product nontrivial net revenue.

    90% of that net revenue is donated to charitable organizations working in the fields of nonviolent conflict resolution, critical thinking, civics education and Open Source; 10% of net revenue from each project/product is contributed to a central fund whose sole purpose is to help similar self-funding, socially-constructive nonprofits get off the ground. The only stipulation for funding is that organizations follow a similar funding model – donating 90% of net revenue to worthy causes consistent with their own mission, and returning 10% back to the central fund to help additional orgs get off the ground.

    The intent is to create a “virtuous circle” of self-supporting, self-sustaining socially constructive development orgs that adopt best practices from both commercial and nonprofit sectors while jettisoning waste, greed and office politics.

    I have funded PIECORP personally for a couple of years, from my own consulting income, but I don’t have the resources to ramp up beyond the conceptual stage at this point (I haven’t even paid myself a salary). I am personally involved with two promising, large scale projects in the prefunding stage (one of them grant-based, involving a public broadcast entity, the other in conjunction with a film studio – both projects national in scope, both unfortunately under wraps until funding decisions are made) whose missions are congruent with ours, and hope that, if and when at least one of them is funded, I channel that income to PIECORP to move to the next stage. Brenda Laurel heads our board of directors, and advisors include veteran game developers, media researchers, educators, space science experts, and others, who have been generous enough to take a leap of faith based on their experience working with me in other contexts.

    If anyone here is interested in participating in PIECORP projects – or helping to fund our work – feel free to contact me via the link on our site, piecorp.org/

    Our first virtual world project, Mars First!, is designed as an immersive simulation of emerging human civilization on Mars in the second half of this century, providing a fictional narrative context for collaborative explorations into what it takes to build and sustain civil society.

    From a technical standpoint (IANAE), of particular interest is exploring P2P virtual server/distributed computing models for such a virtual world. These models have been rejected in the commercial game world, where the client is “never to be trusted” and where games are based on Malthusian zero-sum competition for individual power. In a socially constructive entertainment environment, however, built around team collaboration to meet epic societal challenges, concerns about “cheating” and unfair advantages have less meaning, making a P2P model more viable (at least from a social architecture standpoint).

    Mark, your efforts with Ubuntu and your principled pragmatism have been admired models of mine. I would welcome an opportunity to engage in a conversation with you or any of the readers here about how to make this dream of a standards-based, universally-accessible, Open Source virtual world a reality, and I offer PIECORP as a resource to make it happen.

    Long post, but it was very exciting for me to read your thoughts on this subject so dear to my heart, so I hope you’ll indulge the wordiness.

  28. Justin Says:

    OpenCroquet seems to be exactly what you’re looking for. More then just a MMORPG game system it is an operating system for the post-browser Internet.


  29. Later Nerdz » Wednesday Morning Catch-up Says:

    […] I don’t know how many of you play second life but I’m sure only about half of those of you who do would actually admit to it. I’ve tried it but as soon as I logged in and my system, which runs world of warcraft at full settings perfectly, produced about 10 fps in second life. I quickly wrote the game off as unplayable. Maybe I would have stayed if there were more incentive than flying, goofy cars and goth anime nerds from around the world. I guess like most new frontiers it’s first adopted by fringe subcultures. Now there’s someone so enthralled by the proliferation of this alternate reality that he’s calling for an open source version of second life. Even though it’s content is already majorly created by the users, Mark Shuttleworth believes the second life framework could use that open source special sauce to create bridges between it’s users real and virtual lives. A nice start is this second life version of myspace. […]

  30. Net Says:

    I say go open source so people can start coding some HMD into the software with gloves. I am so over the mouse and keyboard. God people when are we going VR aka IR = immersive reality

  31. jose hevia Says:

    I don’t think thats is important, for me it’s not a necessity. Let me tell you what my dreamed virtual word is:

    -I need a virtual work, so I could work feeling the others, talking with them, approaching, letting them work , talking with the selected person if he wants, and let me tell you, sound in Linux is so BAD there is a big problem here.

    -I need virtual education, so I can get in contact with teachers across the net, this is not videoconferencing, it’s a 3d word with all the important things you need to learn , without the non essential ones.

    -This way I don’t need to travel 40kms every day, going and returning, a routine that gets 2 time hours (time I don’t work or rest) to workplace. Traveling, or suffering to get up early gives you work impression, but you have done nothing.

    -This way I’m in a different scenario from my own house-cafe-laptopplace, I see the another scenario people, they could see me when needed. I could show them my monitor (if I want), they could show me theirs if they want.

    -This way I could work in rural areas, that are cheaper to live, with nature contact, less polluted, but with cities work possibilities (and social critic mass for doing something interesting).

    context: Here in Spain houses price has rocketed (50% each year). People want to buy, renting is very expensive too, young people go to cities (overpopulation), rural areas gets depopulated. In cities they live sad because they always are in a hurry (something to do with the 2 hours-day-lost), fighting with people they don’t know in supermarket queues that are always long, you never work enough to pay the 50 years mortgage, and the roads are saturated because EVERY BODY uses them at the same time (8:00-9:00AM, 2:00-3:00, 8:00-9:00PM) .

    So, no I don’t consider important having a mobile phone alert from virtual world changes, but I think virtual world tech could have real uses in real work, making it possible for real people to work in home, cafe , park as they wish, and continue creating value).

  32. Tassos Bassoukos Says:

    Tangentially related is ‘Fast times at Fairmont High’ by Vernor Vinge, which is partially on pervasive sensory augmentation and blending the virtual and the real. It’s short, about 32 pages, and I think Rainbow’s End is set in the same setting.

  33. Stoffe Says:


    The FSF is pledging $60,000, others about as much… maybe this is a good step on the way?

  34. Peter Amstutz Says:

    I’m working on precisely an open source effort to do “the metaverse”, the previously-mentioned Interreality Project (also known as the Virtual Object System or VOS). I have probably been working on this longer than Linden Labs has been in existance (we started in 1999), so I think I have some insight into the problem.

    It’s my feeling that people really, really, really underestimate the complexity of building a complete framework for online 3D VR. Worse, experience has shown that a piecemeal approach to building an open source VR system is unlikely to work. It’s not really possible to start simple and grow in the way that the web was able to do so because easy, naive, simple designs don’t scale, and the bar for acceptance (based on people’s experience with online games and Second Life) is exceptionally high. It’s like trying to get people interested in the Internet in 1991 when their expectations are for something like YouTube.

    Because of the many requirements of representing a whole world, scope creep also tends to set in. Games manage this complexity by sharply limiting what the user can do, and this is why MMOs don’t really qualify as being “the metaverse” in the sense of having real freedom of action. SL is closer, but their entire business model is predicated on owning virtual land and being able to charge rent for it, so even if they open source their client, I can’t ever see them opening up their server software without having to also change to a radically different business model.

    Having gone through several iterations of design and implementation in my own project, and having a small but dedicated developer community, I’m pretty sure the scope of the task is beyond what is achivable by a group of volunteers in any reasonable amount of time. That doesn’t stop us from trying, and I think we’re pretty far ahead of the game, but if people are serious about the cries for “we need an Open Source Virtual Reality to compete with Second Life” then there needs to be some actual investment in supporting developers who are working on these projects(*).

    What I think is also overlooked is the need for a complete VR architechture to be open and flexible in very deep ways, so that both the 2D and 3D worlds are aware of each other. This is something open source software is uniquely qualified to achive, but needs to be designed from the outset with these goals in mind. Simply being able to display 3D graphics will not yield the kind of merging of the simple desktop with a more fluid and continuous space that people really get excited about when the read, say, Snow Crash.

    (*) Obviously I have a strong interest in this, since I have just such a project and would love to work on it full time, if the financial support was available.

    David Galiel, re PIECORP: Very interesting. What’s the technical basis of your efforts?

  35. Peter Amstutz Says:

    Oops, it’s not obvious from my post, but if you click on my name you’ll go to my project’s web site. Just to be clear, it’s http://interreality.org

  36. Trevor F. Smith Says:

    Mark, the question you pose has been rolling around in my head in this form:

    “What happens if we erase the ‘magic circle’ of MMOs?”

    After a bit of research and a bit of building, out popped the Ogoglio project, with the primary purpose of building a web based urban space for creative collaboration: http://ogoglio.com/

    It’s a large goal with many non-technical hurdles, but you might be interested in the proposed platform which uses open web protocols, formats, languages, browsers, and servers: http://ogoglio.com/development.html

    The Ogoglio prototype is built from the ground up to be on the web and work with third party web applications. For example, people access the spaces via their web browser, each in-world entity exposes a REST API, and the scripting language is javascript. People who write 2D web apps will feel right at home writing 3D web apps.

  37. links for 2006-12-14 at sil’s babbling Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » #6: Sensory immersion Mark Shuttleworth discuss the cross-over between the virtual world and real world, and sees a need for an open source virtual world, ala Second Life. (tags: secondlife) […]

  38. Peter Amstutz Says:

    I swear I posted a comment on this earlier this evening on the topic of open source VR. Either this blog software eats comments, or they were deliberately deleted. Very odd either way!

    Mark Shuttleworth: this blog has a spam filter which puts some comments into a queue for moderation, it takes me anywhere between a day and a month to get to the queue.

  39. Peter Amstutz Says:

    Oh, I see. Comments are moderated — that’s not very obvious. Since that must mean someone is looking at these, you can delete these last two content-free posts 😉

  40. Taran Rampersad Says:

    Hmm. Oddly enough, working on/toward some code to do some of those things in the context of SecondLife… Asterix with a CMS (doo dah, doo dah).

    Open Source? Yes. How? That is the question.

  41. blackrimglasses.com » Blog Archive » Second Life as P2P? Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » #6: Sensory immersion: I was thinkin a lot about this today. Specifically about the challenges that Linden is going to face in the scalability of Second Life if they truly want to become a Metaverse type system. So I was thinking: could we devise a way to do P2P Second Life? Meaning: the users machine would contribute to the powering of the world as a whole? […]

  42. Marcus Says:

    You should really take a look at http://www.ryzom.org/ where a gamestudio is in liquidation and the community and FSF are trying to buy the whole MMORPG and release it as free and open software. They need contributions and this is a great opportunity for the whole open source movement. The deadline for contributions is december the 19:th so hurry if you want to help!

  43. Marcus Says:

    I’m sorry, i just saw someone else had wrote about it. I’m in a hurry….

  44. Lesley Clayton Says:

    Sensory immerson is one of favourite topics – especially when it has to do with technology for training! People can learn a huge amount and at a quicker pace when they are experiencing immerson. There is lots happening for training pilots and the creative ideas are limitless – software designed to test and develop skills in every area imaginable, mabe testing decision making skills and then you can see what the outcome is! – LOVE IT A LOT!

  45. robmyers » links for 2006-12-15 Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » #6: Sensory immersion Mr. Ubuntu puts forward the case for free VR (tags: VR free-software second-life) […]

  46. Ubuntu-blogi » Arkisto » Uutisia ja lainauksia, viikko 50 Says:

    […] “What interests me are the ways in which there is cross-over between the virtual world and the real world. When I’m walking around town, does my mobile phone alert me to changes in the virtual world? And when I’m working at my PC, how much can I stay focused on work, say, while my PC also keeps me abreast of what’s going on with my avatar?” – Mark Shuttleworth tavoittelee virtuaali- ja todellisen maailman yhdistämistä http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/72 […]

  47. an ex-ubuntu user Says:

    Mark please stop ubuntu now, its ruining the linux community with all of this easy, command-line illiterate newbies, the thing is most of us learned linux without it being easy, and it can be done, and that helps most of us to grow in our knowlege of computers, you are ruining what we have made,(as in our community) with people that dont care about the state of linux or thier own mind and will remain stagnent in your mess of a distrobution, as it slowly tears apart the linux world. these are all things i didnt realize until i stopped using ubuntu, and switched to gentoo, and learned a ton. its probably not the right place for this but thats my opinion about ubuntu :)

  48. Todd Adams Says:

    People seem to completely misunderstand Second Life and its purpose. EVERYTHING is player-created. So, if there were not fun things to do, either the commenter did not discover them or he didn’t invent them. People want to be spoon-fed and when the system doesnt offer instant gratification, they immediately give it a bad review or talk down about it.

    Of course SL has issue, what system doesnt? However, second life will eventually be bundled on Linux distros as a SERVER that individuals can run in the same manner they run Apache now. Then with the right resources, you are free to offer any world you wish to the public.

  49. Ben Francis Says:

    You might be interested to know that Linden Labs released the Second Life client source code today under the GPL 2.0 license!

    However, I’m interested in the idea of a 3D web, a sort of distributed Second Life using web standards. That’s something I’ve mentioned here and here.

    I’ve started a wiki page posing the question, “What would be required to create a 3D web with a similar user experience to that of online virtual worlds like Second Life?”. You can log in with

    username: iwontspam
    password: ipromise

    (or create a new account, or start a wiki page on launchpad somewhere)

    I’d value everyone’s input!

  50. Later Nerdz » Second Life Releases Client Source under GPL v2 Says:

    […] Linden Labs, developers of the fringe subculture catch-all MMO game Second Life, have released their client’s source code to the public for development under the GNU GPL version 2. It’s amazing news because not long ago this guy was calling for an open source virtual game world based on second life. The release of the client is a good first step. “Stepping up the development of the Second Life Grid to everyone interested, I am proud to announce the availability of the Second Life client source code for you to download, inspect, compile, modify, and use within the guidelines of the GNU GPL version 2.” […]

  51. Mark Shuttleworth calls for an Open Source Second Life « Linux and Unix Top News Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  52. Top Unix News » Blog Archive » Mark Shuttleworth calls for an Open Source Second Life Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  53. Top Linux News » Blog Archive » Mark Shuttleworth calls for an Open Source Second Life Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  54. Munich Unix » Mark Shuttleworth calls for an Open Source Second Life Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]